Taming the tiger

From Singapore’s boardrooms to dining rooms it is no secret: we all have invested in and paid for the ride on the Tigers back.
taming the tiger

If we even consider the thought of trying to get off the Tiger’s back, there is a real fear that it will devour us economically and in so many other ways.

To say on or jump off?

If we even consider the thought of trying to get off the Tiger’s back, there is a real fear that it will devour us economically and in so many other ways.

Either way, everyone I interviewed in Singapore in the last year had said, in one way or another “it will get me.”

I’ve only asked one question, over and over again, “What is your greatest cause of stress and tension?”

Interviewing young people in their 30’s, without hesitation, their answer is astounding, “financial, retirement and relationships” in that exact order. People through to their 70’s, gave similar answers.

This is of course not unique to only Singapore. There seems to be an endless denial that a middle ground even exists, it’s like the inherent nature of the ride. Going to work early and coming home late at night, in a continuous cycle. With no time to stop, reflect and enjoy our family and not realising what’s really going on in our life.

At what point does our life change?

Where does the glimmer of light in any individual come from, to even consider there could be a middle ground or balance? To actually achieve a calmer pace and better outcomes.

In my experience of over 30 years supporting people with similar issues in different parts of the world, more and more people are trying to find the “middle ground”. Sadly for the majority,  they only manage to do so, well after they experienced a crisis of some sort, be it financial, health or relationships.

The crisis

A crisis is when our inner tension builds up and erupts, either into our bodies or infecting relationships in our daily life. This is usually the beginning of the turning point, however not until we have gone to the opposite extreme to deal with the crisis, we then return to find a level of acceptance of what has happened and why.

Following this, there seems to be a point of readiness and then the consideration, there must be another way.

The nature of the tiger

We instinctively know that the tension that drives the Tiger that we are afraid of, will simply not go away. This resembles a constant freight train full of thoughts and reactions that fills our sleep and blurs our clarity to make even the smallest decisions daily.

Build a relationship with the Tiger

taming tiger

I’m not suggesting for one minute that you stay on or get off the Tiger’s back. That would be unrealistic.

What I am suggesting is to build a relationship with the Tiger, at all cost learn to gradually calm down, not necessarily slow down.

We have all learned short-term coping mechanisms, like stress management and stress relief, whereby we learn strategies to temporarily re-arranging our outer surroundings. Or to take on a distraction to offset how we actually feel, but still – it is the inner Tiger that needs taming.

Most of us have also learned that when something seems to go wrong or when our health suffers, it seems that the solution would be to automatically reach for something. More importantly – this is the time to let something go.

Taming the Tiger

If you truly want to reach the middle ground, experience a calmer pace, and have better outcomes, there are a couple of things you can do to successfully tame the Tiger. Consider is this really important to me and my family, important enough to take action?

The other is to take action, it will take time to tame, but not as much as you think.

Remember, the Tiger is not outside the self – you are the Tiger.

© 2012 Stuart Mackay

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